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From Wet to Dry: Critical Environments of Africa: Home

About this Guide

Africa is a mosaic of different environments – windswept deserts to snowy mountains, flooded swamps to vast savannahs, and everything in between. Many of these environments are facing significant stress due to factors such as global warming and increasing human activity, and this puts stress on the native plants and animals. Environments are a delicate web, a perfect balance of nature, and need to be preserved. Many of our medicines come from compounds discovered in wild plants. Animals spread seeds, pollinate flowers, and help recycle nutrients back into the soil. Thriving biodiversity is a signifier of a healthy environment, which keeps humans healthy as well. Rainforests produce vast amounts of oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, and protecting the rivers and lakes for other animals ensures that humans too have fresh, clean water to drink.   

The four environments highlighted here were chosen to represent a wide array of critical environments in Africa that are unique and continue to face significant problems. Take a journey through the rainforests of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Namib desert region in Namibia, the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, and the brilliant coral reefs in the Seychelles, and experience some of nature’s hidden gems.

Africa by Vegetation Types

Baobab Tree


Contact me

Subject Guide

Esmeralda Kale

Curator, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies


Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

(847) 491-7684